“The American Judicature Society defends the Rule of Law by promoting merit selection of judges throughout our country.”
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“A strong and independent judiciary is the life-preserver of democracy against the strong winds and tides of political power.”
We just learned of the sudden passing of Judge Judy Chirlin, who served on the AJS Program Committee and the AJS Planning for the Future of AJS and the Formation of State Chapters Committee. She also facilitated the presentation of the latter at the 2021 AJS National Conference.
AJS Chair Lawrence Okinaga said: “She was so much a part of AJS up to the time of her untimely passing. . . and she was as usual, an active and vocal leader and participant. She continued to help to this day in our effort to reinvigorate AJS. Those in our AJS community will miss her but will continue to evidence her presence in everything we do.”
Judge Chirlin served on the Los Angeles Superior Court from 1985 to 2009. Prior to her appointment, she practiced business and employment litigation and represented airlines in a variety of business matters. Upon her retirement from the Court, she became an arbitrator and mediator with Judicate West.
Judge Chirlin was also a law instructor at U.S.C. for 18 years through the Judicial Administration Program. Attorneys who have appeared before her over the years praise her judicial demeanor, intelligence and fairness. One attorney commented, “Judge Chirlin is one of the best judges in Los Angeles county. She truly believes that all litigants should be treated fairly, she was courteous and respectful to all parties and that’s how she always ran her courtroom”. Another attorney commented, she is flexible but firm in arbitration and is extremely prepared.” [Judicate West website]
She served on the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles Board for over 30 years and also found time to serve on the boards of California Women Lawyers, the National Association of Women Judges, the International Association of Women Judges and the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative.
Throughout her years as a lawyer and on the bench, Judge Chirlin was involved in numerous efforts to improve the legal systems and the administration of justice in California as well as throughout the nation and around the world.
The PACE Commission, in collaboration with numerous other organizations, has initiated and implemented a number of civics education initiatives:
Maui Nui Law & Justice Academy
On the Valley Isle, the PACE Commission partnered with the UH Maui College, UH Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law, Hawaii State Judiciary, Maui County Bar Association, and others to hold the three-day Maui Nui Law & Justice Academy.
From Oct. 4 to 6, this program engaged high school students from Maui, Molokai, and Lanai in activities and educational sessions to introduce them to issues of law and justice; build skills in discussion, debate, analysis, and advocacy; and provide tools and inspiration to become active, involved citizens in their respective communities. A number of judges, attorneys, educators, and others volunteered to participate in leading sessions, to serve as mentors for the students, and to help teach a mock trial case.
The PACE Commission, in collaboration with the Judiciary and the Hawaii State Bar Association, plans to establish a speakers bureau for judges or attorneys to serve as speakers in schools statewide or at the Judiciary History Center, covering the three branches of government, the structure and role of the courts, the difference between state and federal governments, important cases, the criminal justice system, careers in law or government, and other civic education topics.
Elementary and High School Curricula
PACE Commission members are working on an elementary curriculum project to create presentations aligned with DOE requirements. PACE Commission members are also developing a curriculum for high school students that will meet two Hawaii Common Core Standards in social studies.
Civics Awareness Month Proclamation by Gov. David Ige
Gov. David Ige recognized the tremendous work underway across the state and declared October 2022 as “Civics Awareness Month.” Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald, who represented the Judiciary, and PACE Commission members joined Gov. Ige at the proclamation ceremony held on Oct. 7.
REGISTER NOW! Please join us on Thursday, December 8, 2022, Pacific Club, 4:30-6:30 pm, with a reception to follow. The program will focus on “The 2022 Elections: Impact on the Judiciary and the Administration of Justice” featuring Andy Winer, co-leader of S360’s DC office, and Blake Oshiro, principal of Capitol Consultants.
The Honorable Mark E. Recktenwald, Chief Justice of the Hawai‘i Supreme Court, will present the keynote address. A brief annual meeting will inform the membership of major activities and considerations of the past year and elect officers for the coming year.
The concept for the PACE Commission began more than 15 years ago. In a speech to the American Judicature Society in 2006, then Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald T.Y. Moon challenged the legal community to instill a basic understanding of how government works in Hawaii residents.
In 2007, the AJS responded by forming a committee to increase public understanding of the legal system and recommended establishing the Hawaii Institute for Civics Education, but unfortunately lack of funding prevented this from getting off the ground. In 2018, Chief Judge Ginoza co-chaired an AJS committee with attorney Ted Pettit to revisit the prior AJS report’s recommendations for addressing civics. The committee included Troy Andrade, David Louie, Magistrate Judge Kenneth Mansfield, Pat Mau-Shimizu, Randy Perreira, and Steven Uejio. The committee studied the efforts by different groups in Hawaii and across the country to address civics and determined that a statewide commission, created by the Hawaii Supreme Court, would be the best course. With the support of Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald, this AJS committee recommended a rule by the Hawaii Supreme Court to create the PACE Commission.
On January 7, 2021, the PACE Commission was born, based on Rule 23 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of the State of Hawaii. Members of the Commission are appointed by the Chief Justice, Governor, Senate President, Speaker of the House, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Department of Education, Hawaii Association of Independent Schools, President of the University of Hawaii, Dean of the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii, and the Hawaii State Bar Association. Since being created last year, the PACE Commission has made great strides and filed its first annual report in April 2022, filled with impressive accomplishments. Further, the PACE Commission was instrumental in Gov. David Ige proclaiming October 2022 as Civics Awareness Month.